LEUVEN, Belgium, Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Rewind Therapeutics ("Rewind"), a private Belgian biotech company developing innovative first-in-class remyelinating therapies for myelin-related diseases such as multiple sclerosis, announces it will lead a new industry-academic R&D collaboration to discover and develop first-in-class inhibitors of a key GPCR (G protein-coupled receptor) target that has an influential role in myelin-related neurological diseases. The program is being supported with a €2.9 million grant from Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).
The collaboration partners include the Stem Cell Institute at the KU Leuven (KUL) and imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. KUL will develop cellular screening assays based on human stem cells to assess the potential of small molecule candidates to block the target GPCR and induce nerve remyelination, and imec will devise a novel chip-based engineering approach to measure nerve myelination.
Collectively, the collaboration partners will provide state-of-the-art and complementary expertise necessary to establish a disruptive innovation platform for studying the biology of nerve myelination and neuronal function and provide unique advantages in discovering and advancing new potent and selective drugs for nerve and brain repair.
"Therapies that promote myelin repair would represent an unprecedented approach to treating multiple progressive neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and could prevent or reverse disability," said Ian J. Reynolds, CEO of Rewind Therapeutics. "We are delighted to collaborate with world-leading teams in Flanders and further afield to discover and advance candidate molecules that may arise from the program. We are also grateful for the financial support from VLAIO and pleased to support its mission of advancing world-class innovation in the Flanders region."
Professor Catherine Verfaillie, Head of the KUL Stem Cell Institute, added: "We believe that our unique expertise with stem cells destined to become nerve cells such as oligodendrocytes, will be highly valuable as part of this new initiative to advance the understanding of re-myelination and the identification of new approaches to repair damaged nerves."
"Imec, with a broad neurotechnology portfolio, engages in various research projects that aim to push forward the understanding of the brain and the development of therapies for neurological diseases," said Dries Braeken, R&D manager of imec. "We are excited to leverage our multielectrode array (MEA) chip platform and neural interfacing technology to help find new therapeutics for neurological diseases."
About Rewind Therapeutics
Rewind Therapeutics is developing first-in-class remyelinating therapies for myelin-related diseases and aims to bring them into fast-track clinical development.
Myelin-related diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are those where the myelin sheath surrounding nerves is damaged leading to deficient nerve transmission that may affect multiple functions, including sensation, cognition and movement, among others. The causes of damage may be genetic, a result of infectious or autoimmune disease or from exposure to toxic agents or other forms of brain injury. There is no cure for demyelinating diseases.
The Company was founded by KU Leuven's Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) and Axxam S.p.A. (Milano, Italy), a leading provider of integrated discovery services for the Life Sciences. Rewind Therapeutics works in close collaboration with both organisations and a world-class academic network to advance its discovery and development activities.
Rewind Therapeutics completed a €15.2 million Series A financing in January 2018, which was led by life science investors Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, M Ventures and the Flemish investment company PMV, together with CD3 and KU Leuven Gemma Frisius Fonds.
For more information, please go to https://rewindtherapeutics.com/
About KU Leuven
KU Leuven is dedicated to education and research in nearly all fields. KU Leuven offers education, while research activities are organized by the departments and research groups. These faculties and departments, in turn, are clustered into three groups: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, Engineering and Technology (SET), and Biomedical Sciences.
The interdepartmental KU Leuven Stem Cell Institute was created in November 2005 in recognition of the potential of stem cells for the treatment of genetic and degenerative diseases. The mission of the KU Leuven Stem Cell Institute is to gain a deep understanding of stem cell generation and differentiation in health and disease to enable creation of innovative drug treatments as well as stem cell-based or stem-cell derived therapies.
Imec is a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, energy and education.
As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together more than 4,000 brilliant minds from over 97 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, and offices in China, India and Japan. In 2018, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 583 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec-int.com.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut"), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Government of Flanders), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.), imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.), imec India (Imec India Private Limited) and imec Florida (IMEC USA nanoelectronics design center).
For further information, please contact:
For Rewind Therapeutics:
Ian J. Reynolds, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Mark Swallow/Sylvie Berrebi
For KU Leuven:
Ine Vanhoudenhove, KU Leuven Nieuwsdienst
+32-16-324028 // +32-16-324014
Hanne Degans, Press communications manager
+32-16-28-17-69 // +32-486-06-51-75
SOURCE Rewind Therapeutics